As you can tell from the title, the idea of having a day in the year when we celebrate our, erm, record stores, has come to us from the USA. Though no one, not one single person here in Britain would call a record shop a ‘record store’ in my experience. OK?
Having made that clear the day, whatever it’s called, is this Saturday, 19th April. And a joyous day it should prove to be too. Here’s how it describes itself:
“This is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities include performances, meet & greets with artists, DJ’s, in store quizzes and many other events.”
Well, spare me the quizzes, but for me this last year has been one where record shops have returned to my life in a big way. Since rediscovering the joys of vinyl last summer I’m back on familiar record flicking terms with all the best record shops and market stalls within a 30 mile radius of home. Peacefully searching through their LPs for old favourites and new gems.
This week alone I’ve taken possession of long-beloved ‘Mirrors’ by Peggy Lee and ‘East Side Story’ by Squeeze. As well as the gorgeous and brand new ‘Hendra’ by Ben Watt. So our house is now regularly happy with the sounds of vinyl. A sound last heard around these parts over 20 years ago.
Not that ‘Record Store Day’ is all about vinyl. It isn’t. But there’s no doubt that the survival and now quiet resurgence of analogue music is being best served by the independents. Indeed most independent record shops of my acquaintance are mostly about vinyl singles and LPs, with CDs, where there are any, fitted in down the side of the shop. Echoing how it is in our house, where the few CDs remaining are only for playing in the car.
So then, what’s happening in Liverpool on Saturday?
Well, here’s what’s on offer from our newest emporium, Dig Vinyl:
Though Dig Vinyl only arrived in Bold Street a few weeks ago it’s already much loved by many, and you’ll certainly see me at some or all of what they’re up to on Saturday.
Down at the Bluecoat, Probe Records are opening at a worrying 8am so true devotees can get their hands on exclusive Record Store Day releases.
While dance shop 3B records on Slater Street will have DJ sessions through the day.
A full list of other Liverpool activities can be found here from Peter Guy at the Liverpool Echo.
And those Record Store Day special releases? Well there’s a full list here, but there are so many of them I can’t see any single record shop carrying them all. So just get down to your local independent and see what there is. That’s the great joy of record shopping. You never know what you’ll find.
Here is one lovely Record Store Day special release. It’s Tracey Thorn singing a song by Molly Drake. Yes, Nick’s mother. Clearly his biggest influence. Listen:
Also written by Molly Drake, and so contributing to her posthumous fame is another Record Store Day special single by Martin & Eliza Carthy. Mark Radcliffe has just played it towards the end of the BBC Radio 2 folk programme, seriously beautiful.
Finally, another vinyl find from earlier this week. The sound of pure joy, perfectly encapsulating everything Record Store Day stands for, ‘Happiness is being with the Detroit Spinners’ – those Rubberband Men:
Record Store Day is this coming Saturday, 19th April. Check here for what’s happening near to where you are. And brighten your life with the sounds of music. Independent music.